Friday, 19 December 2008

Friday 19th.December 2008

I had to pop in to the yard on the Greensand Ridge today , so decided to swing by Bough Beech on the way . As soon as I saw the reservoir in the distance from Ide Hill , I knew I had done 'a wrong un' , as the far end of the reservoir was covered in sailing boats and when I arrived at the causeway , a chainsaw was felling trees in one of the gardens . Needless to say , there was very little activity on the water apart from large numbers of Great Crested Grebe , a few Cormorant ,
the odd Pochard , a few Teal , the odd Grey Heron and a small number of Black Headed Gulls . It was quite exciting when a flock of about 30/40 Wigeon , whistled their way in over the Oast House , but even they immediately hid themselves amongst the trees well down the reservoir . Needless to say , the reservoir is now full to the gunnels , covering all the mud and beach edges under water pumped in from the nearby River Eden . These will not be seen again until well after the Spring migration has finished .
With all the disturbance , I was tempted to head straight home , but decided to stop near the Oast House and have a look for the female Bearded Tit . Well , that didn't work out either , probably because the chainsaw was almost as loud there , and she was probably keeping her head down . All was not lost though , on a feeder near the car park sump pump outlet , a constant stream of species were feeding frantically . Amongst them was a Nuthatch that arrived with stopwatch timing , grabbed seeds and disappeared , seen here sharing with a Blue Tit . In the trees around the feeder , I spotted a female Brambling , too nervous to attempt coming in , but seeming watching how it was done . This was the best I could get , go any nearer , and she was off .
The main feeding station in the Orchard was like Victoria Station with constant coming and going and constant squabbles . Chaffinches were the most numerous and I hoped that other Bramblings might be with them , but it wasn't to be . Starlings , Greenfinches , Blackbirds , Robins , Dunnocks , Blue and Great Tits and a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers were all players , and below the feeders , one male and six female ( yes he did have a smile on his face ) Pheasants were hoovering up anything that fell to the floor .
Leaning against the five bar gate and keeping still allowed good opportunities for some of the participants .
A 'True Brit' with that golden bill and eye ring .
On the way home , I stopped near Keston Church to see if the first flower of the new year was showing . Sure enough , the flower buds have started to open . In a mild Winter , they can be found in flower during November . It is the Winter Heliotrope , often found along roadsides . Along the bottom lane , mixed flocks of Crow , Jackdaw and Rook were feeding on the pasture . Sorry about the wire fencing , I took this from the car , then got out to get a better one , then they were there no more . To some areas Rooks are plentiful , but around Bromley , they are few and far between .
Last sighting along the lane was a Woodpigeon , stuffing itself with Ivy berries .

1 comment:

Ken said...

Hi Greenie.
Who ever invented chainsaws? Just your luck they were being used there today. I think it is too early for Brambling in larger numbers.I believe that the weather on the continent isn't bad enough yet for them to cross the water. Even the Wildfowl and Swan numbers are down in many places,due to the same reasons. Funny enough that was 1 of the things I was discussing with Bob Gomes last week.